You can debunk all those theories that preach social media leads to increased mental stress. A study has revealed that awareness through social media does not spike levels of stress in people’s lives.
Infact, this study, conducted by Pew Research, concluded that increased awareness of stressful events happenings in others’ lives adds to our own stress. Social media has nothing to do with it. The study called the phenomenon’the cost of caring’.
“In fact, for women, the opposite is true for at least some digital technologies. Holding other factors constant, women who use Twitter, email and cellphone picture sharing, report lower levels of stress,” said the study.
The study also said that the increased stress due to the cost of caring does arise out of social media directly and that a social media user would have the same amount of stress as a person not using social media due to the existence of a social life for both the people.
Moreover, “the social benefit of using these technologies cancels out those additional costs.” In other words, the benefits of social media like having more close friends, more trust in people and more political involvement offsets the increased stress due to the cost of caring. The study also said that women were more aware of stressful events in their and their friends’ lives.
The survey was conducted with 1,801 adults using the Perceived Stress Scale. “This scale is based on people’s answers to 10 questions that assess whether they feel that their life is overloaded, unpredictable and uncontrollable. Perceived stress, as measured through the PSS, can be viewed as an assessment of the risk that people face for psychological disorders related to stress,” said the study.